As you know, the state of Colorado has allowed the legalization of marijuana. This is an event which requires new legislature to come into play. On Monday, the Denver City Council entered a new bill on marijuana which allowed for residents to smoke in their front yards without fear of consequences.
On November 12th, Both the Mayor Michael Hancock and Councilman Chris Nevitt drafted a bill that could have placed strangling limitations on the act of smoking cannabis outdoors, even on private property.
Yet two weeks later, The City Council held a hearing that invited public opinion. Half the council was split on if they should allow residents to smoke freely on their front lawns. Some Council members really wanted to restrict this right.
"I don't want to see a bunch of pot parties on front yards." -Councilwoman Jeanne Robb
For several weeks Councilmen and Councilwomen worked tirelessly to create a law that would establish where people could legally smoke while visible on public property. Ultimately the council voted 7-5 in favor of the new provision that prohibited smoking marijuana on publicly visible lawns, porches, and balconies. A final vote was scheduled for Monday, Dec 2.
Attorney Brian Vicente, the man who co-authored Amendment 64, had this to say "It is incredibly frustrating that the Denver City Council continues to look for ways to punish adult marijuana consumers," he said in a statement. "The city should cease considering 'Reefer Madness' proposals such as this one, and, instead, look for more productive uses of their time and taxpayer dollars."
There is good news for Denver however, Monday's hearing led to the reversal of their previous decision. If the bill passes in next weeks final vote, then residents will be able to smoke anywhere they choose on their own property including; lawns, porches, and balconies.
Councilman Albus Brooks who had voted to ban smoking on lawns earlier this month, had a change of heart. Describing the concerns of other Council members he said "Their Concerns were about private property rights and overpolicing in some of our neighborhoods, it's a tough decision. Fear sometimes causes us to protect and doesn't allow our city to grow." Valuable insights like his are what led to the new version of the bill. The new version allows smoking on front lawns, provided you have the owners permission, and are not within 1,000 feet of any school.
Next week The Denver City Council will have their final vote on this issue. The world is ready and waiting to see how marijuana legalization changes things. January 1st, when weed becomes completely legal to Colorado residents, will be a big day. Stay tuned next week to find out if Denver residents will be able to have those "front yard pot parties" the Councilwoman was so determined to not let happen.